Imperial Spain only touches slightly on certain aspects of
Spain s imperial past which are now deemed crucial to the story These are for example the devastating fate s imperial past which are now deemed crucial to the story These are for example the devastating fate millions of natives in the Americas the horrifying slave trade and the role of women However as JH Elliott explains in a convincing argument in his preface from 2001 the book is a product of its time The story told in Imperial Spain does not need to be inferior to newer stories Rather Imperial SPAIN CAN BE VIEWED AS A can be viewed as a to modern perspectives and these two ways of looking at history do not need to take hierarchical positions to one another This story centers around the economic and mental life in Spain probably influenced by the Braudelian thought However Elliott also manages to integrate a political narrative in which human agency is perceived as a driving force in history Further Elliott also places the empire of Spain in a wider Western European context and there are even bits and pieces of comparisons between European states On the one hand Elliott s immense research and his refreshing perspectives are impressive On the other hand the literary style and the masterful writing are remarkable Elliott is able to combine historical science and literary techniues in a wonderful manner without sacrificing the scientific value or the readability of the book This is a uniue book I guess I m not as familiar with Spanish history as I thought I was I found myself getting confused as to the geography political as well as physical It s amazing to think of the territory that was ruled by the Habsburgs during the time Elliot s main interest of course is Spain itself or rather what became Spain A good solid complex look at Imperial Spain I recently was looking for something to read and realized my understanding of Spanish history pre Civil War was light on the details so off to to look at what s out thereMan That s a thin field to pick fromHugh Thomas histories of High Imperial Spain seemed to have the most noise online about them so I grabbed one and started reading meh Celebrity biography masuerading as history I don t need seven paragraphs on the bloodlines of a minor court functionary thanks and it s some serious Big Man history that spends next to no time on economy of social so I put that volume asideThe only other general survey that seems to exist in English AND in e book format is this one JH Elliott s Imperial Spain So I grabbed thatI tend to lean towards very recent history as there has been a lot of new source material and re examination going on in a lot of historical fields particularly since the fall of the USSR and as regards Spain the post Franco era That said this book originally dates from the 70 s I believe but you wouldn t now it from the reading The author is clear to note that he considered his research source challenged for a variety of reasons and is clear on what points he s making that he believes may change if evidence is uncovered I appreciated this clarity of purpose and problems throughoutOverall I found this an EXCELLENT history particularly for the reader who has a good understanding of the general flow of European Colonial and Spanish history to begin with It covers specifically an expanded understanding of the reign of the Habsburg Dynasty over Spain including the reign of the non Habsburg Catholic Kings that immediately preceded it as well as the very beginning of the Bourbon Dynasty that supplanted itThis ordering his choice of which he goes into detail about in the Introduction makes clear sense as Ferdinand and Isabella obviously finished the Reconuista thereby ushering in modern Spain as an entity in the first place and they set the table for the entire Habsburg reign that would see Spain rise to its absolute height of imperial power and majesty as well as crash from that perch in disastrous fashion The Bourbon denouement serves as a proper coda to the entire era immediately after which Spain effectively retreated into a broken shell of itself for arguably two centuriesElliott gives eual focus to the domineering personalities of this era as well as broader socio economic forces at play that influenced the range of and final choices of action those Big Men could choose from This is in my opinion the proper mix that history should aspire to as I don t believe in either a pure Big Man or Inevitable Trend view of history so I was glad to see it strongly represented here He doesn t go into great detail on say the myriad military campaigns that occurred throughout this era instead focusing on the effects of those campaigns upon greater Spanish politics society and economy As the military efforts of any one Habsburg ruler of Spain could easily fill its own thick volume again I agree with the author s choice hereThe writing is uite lively and enjoyable which helps when dealing with such a large book covering such a wide topic As an example here s his description of Charles II one of the last and arguably the worst of Spain s sovereigns during this period The poor King himself the centre of so many The story of Spain's rise to greatness from its humble beginnings as one of the poorest and most marginal of European countries is a remarkable and dramatic one With the marria.
J.H. Elliott ´ 4 Read & DownloadAd this book because while I consider myself a history buff I had never studied about my Old World rootsThis book gives a great descriptive almost lifelike overview of Spain from 1469 1716 I ll admit the first 25 30 pages start out slow and seem cumbersome but once it gets to King Ferdinand and ueen Isabella it becomes really interesting and you won t want to put it down It serves as a good introduction to Spanish history you don t have to now a lot about Spain beforehand My favorite
portion of the book was that of theof the book was that of the Inuisition I am sure yo A decent overview of Spain under the Hapsburgs and the lead up to it Spain under Ferdinand and Isabella It touches on political structure economic tendencies and religious currents and pays special attention to the push pull tension between uniting Spain and other Hapsburg dominions into a unified whole and preserving the rights and customs of each region It reads pretty well overall but probably could have used a bit of a heavier emphasis on the political narrative and possibly a bit detail for Spain s apparently perpetual financial woes I m not much of an economist and I was feeling a bit lost on occasion The persistent emphasis on nationalism seemed a little overplayed to me as well though I don t now all that much about SpainIt s also
vaguely racist at times Elliott seems to be a huge fan of the conuistadors and at oneracist at times Elliott seems to be a huge fan of the conuistadors and at one in the second chapter he suggests that they were able to conuer the Americas because they had a larger zest for life than the native people I m honestly not sure where he s getting that from unless it was a vague way to imply that it s hard to be zesty when you re being ravaged by smallpox Already by the end of the sixteenth century many Spaniards seem to have been gripped by that sense of fatalism which would prompt the famous pronouncement of a Junta of theologians in the reign of Philip IV Summoned to consider a project for the construction of a canal linking the Manzanares and the Tagus it flatly declared that if God had intended the rivers to be navigable He would have made them so For Anglophone readers interested in the history of Spain this book is invaluable Elliott has here accomplished a real feat of research of writing and of analysis The book ably navigates that forbidding passage between simplifying popular accounts and unreadable scholarly monographs managing to be both a work of serious intellectual synthesis and an absorbing account of Spain s history Elliott has an astounding ability to seamlessly combine many disparate threads into the same narrative He pays close attention to economic history crop yields interest rates inflation and deflation the debasement of currency the balance of trade tariffs and regulations He incorporates social and cultural shifts changing religious attitudes demographic trends class tensions intellectual movements And yet he also does not neglect the outstanding individuals Ferdinand and Isabella Charles V Philip II the Conde Duue among others The only thing conspicuously absent was military history which suited me just fine Although the story of Spain during this time was heavily interwoven with both the New World and the rest of Europe Elliott s focus doesn t stray from the Iberian Peninsula He gives only the most cursory account of the Spanish conuest of the Americas and only mentions the struggles of Charles V against the Protestant Reformation For those looking for a history of Spanish colonization this book will therefore be disappointing I must also add that Elliott s judgment is at its worst in his brief section on the conuistadores He describes them as glorious conuering heroes of a barren civilization which I cannot abide in the light of the destruction and exploitation that followed in their wake Keeping those exceptions in mind this book is a superlative account of this period of Spanish history The competing centrifugal and centralizing forces at play the conflicting traditions of Castilian and Aragonese governments the infinitely subtle machinations of power the gradual emergence of a national identity the meteoric rise of the Spanish Empire the cruel grinding decline that followed the heroic and hapless individuals struggling with forces beyond their control all this is related with brevity insight and power It is difficult not to see the whole story as a morality play writ large What with the ruthless exploitation of the treasure mines of the New World the expulsion of the Jews and the Moors the obsession with purity of blood and the alignment of religious orthodoxy with central power it seems as if the collapse of the grand but hollow edifice was the inevitable result of intolerance and folly But even if we can learn some valuable lessons from this history it is important to remember that the story is not so simple and many decisions which in retrospect seem obviously foolish were at the time fairly reasonable though of course many weren t In short I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in this fascinating time and place It could hardly be better. Al power This amazing success however created many powerful enemies and Elliott's famous book charts the dramatic fall of Habsburg Spain with the same elan as it charts the ris. .
Opes turned out to be a rachitic and feeble
MINDED WEAKLING THE LAST STUNTED SPRIG OF A DEGENERATEweakling the last stunted sprig of a degenerate s some powerfully descriptive stuff right thereElliott doesn t go overboard with this sort of flowery language saving it for when its impact is actually called for One can tell that he has written a lot in his career and has put a lot of work into sharpening his craft The book moves along thanks to this going into enough detail to evoke the scenes and settings without getting mired down in minutiae that doesn t add to the overall understanding Just to note there are a few small technical problems with the e book addition there s a handful of garbled phrases and the maps which look to have been low detail linework typical of 70 s history books to begin with were not scanned well with spine seams visible and a muddy resolution at best Be prepared to Google some readable maps when they pop up Overall though particularly given the paucity of books covering this topic I can whole heartedly recommend this volume for anyone looking for a general history of Imperial Spain The book runs from the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella down to the death of the dynasty with Charles II the last stunted sprig of a degenerate line as Elliot describes him on account of the Spanish Hapsburg s bad habit of marrying uncles to nieces or first cousins or sometimes both at the same time because the genealogy got complicated That unfortunate young man seems to have only enjoyed shooting at birds He was married twice but fathered no children whether this was due to the poor state of sex education for roy This is a very readable account of Spanish history from the period from the union of Aragon and Castile to the end of the War of Spanish succession The focus is on mainland Spain this is not a history of the Spanish Empire in the Americas and though it touches on Spanish involvement in Flanders and the Netherlands and in Italy it does so primarily only insofar as this involvement affected metropolitan SpainThe book covers the rise of Spain as an imperial power and its catastrophic decline All the main aspects of history are discussed political constitutional military economic demographic religious social ethnic and cultural In style it is magisterial in a way which may seem a little old fashioned today it is none the worse for that it was first published in 1963 and the slightly revised paperback edition I have read dates from 1970 There are hugely enjoyable pithy sentences that would have been worthy of Edward Gibbon who wrote The Decline and Fall of the Roman EmpireI am sure that recent research would have led J H Elliott to modify some of the detail but that the basic story would be largely unchanged of a Spain which had ambitions beyond its resources which proved unable to tackle its constitutional problems and bring together the different regions of the country of intellectual and commercial stagnation of a lack of the vision to change in the way needed for a changing Europe of agricultural collapse of a social fossilisation which prevented the emergence of an economically energetic middle class of a Roman Catholic Church which was freuently stifling in its influence and which fostered an intolerant bigotry that badly damaged the countryOne major theme running through the book is the problematic relationship between a self important Castile and the other regions of Spain including Catalonia The failure to find solutions for this relationship played a big role in Spain s decline and is an important part of the historical background to contemporary issues surrounding Catalonia s position in Spain History can cast a long arm forward in time If you want to understand why the status of Catalonia is such a vexed uestion today you should read this book No wonder Elliott scooped a nighthood given this tour de force My interest in Spanish
imperial history was partly forged at A Level but became an obsession after a visit to Madrid s Prado Vel zuezhistory was partly forged at A Level but became an obsession after a visit to Madrid s Prado Vel zuez pictures depict the declining fortunes of the Habsburg family tree riven as they were by the inbreeding resultant from ill judged marriages to cousins nieces and nephews declining fortunes on the battlefield and a particularly macabre vein of Catholicism all agonised crucifixions and obsession w The lack of natural advantages appears crippling Yet in the last years of the fifteenth century and the opening years of the sixteenth it seemed suddenly and even miraculously to have been overcome Spain for so long a mere geographical expression was somehow transformed into an historical fact How does this same society lose its impetus and its dynamism perhaps in as short a period of time a it took to acuire them Has something vital really been lost or was the original achievement itself no than an enga o an illusion as seventeenth century Spaniards began to believeIn some ways this book was exactly what I was lo As a 6th generation Texan of Spanish descent on my mother s side I have always identified myself culturally with the Tex Mex culture of South Texas where I am from I re. Ge of Ferdinand Isabella the final expulsion of the Moslems and the discovery of America Spain took on a seemingly unstoppable dynamism that made it into the world's first glob. ,